With the Chinese men’s team’s eligibility for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics being called into question, the founder of Hong Kong’s largest ice hockey organisation wants the sport’s authorities to go back to the drawing board if they want to prevent a similar situation arising in the future. The International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) council held a call on Friday to review the growing issue surrounding China’s inclusion in the NHL star-studded men’s ice hockey competition, according to a report in the Associated Press . Olympics host nations are given a place in every team sport, however China’s men’s team, ranked 32nd in the world, are set to face three medal contenders in February, with the United States (ranked 2nd), Germany (5th) and Canada (1st) all in their group. And China Hockey Group’s Gregory Smyth says with NHL stars tentatively locked in for the Games, an even wider discrepancy has been created when it comes to a skill gap between the elite teams, and the rest of the world. “The host team exemption should be reviewed as it puts the Chinese national team in an extremely difficult position of trying to field a world-class team against the NHL’s most elite players,” said Smyth, who is originally from Canada and has been involved in Hong Kong’s ice hockey scene for more than 20 years. “It’s tough to see how anyone, or the game of hockey, wins at this point,” he added. What will China’s hockey team face at Beijing 2022? A number of North America-born players, most of them of Chinese descent, had reportedly moved to China to play for the Beijing-based Kunlun Red Star, a team that joined the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League in 2016. The team are acting as the de facto Chinese men’s squad for the Games. IIHF rules stipulate one of the conditions of playing for a country is you must play two seasons in that nation’s league “during which period he has neither transferred to another country nor played ice hockey within any other country”. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Red Star team has been based out of Moscow, Russia, which, according to sources, adds another layer of uncertainty to the foreign players’ eligibility. Hockey pundits believe the men’s team will get blown out in spectacular fashion in all three of their group games, and then are likely to face another tough squad in what should be one play-off elimination game. The IIHF has scheduled another meeting for December 6, and Red Star have the second-worst record in the KHL for the 2021-22 season out of 24 teams.